TECH AND BUSINESS TALK AFTER HOURS FOR SF SMALL BUSINESS WEEK
On Wednesday, May 16, leaders from San Francisco’s technology and business communities collided at Airbnb headquarters for “Tech After Dark,” organized by sf.citi, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and, of course, our generous host Airbnb. Timed and themed around San Francisco Small Business Week, the event explored today’s changing business landscape, which is increasingly powered by modern technology.
Techies, small business owners, and everyone in between took their seats as sf.citi Executive Director Jennifer Stojkovic posed the first question: How have today’s technologies made it easier for small businesses to level and scale?
Quote of the Night: “Order your burrito through Postmates, pay for it with Square, and get it delivered to your Airbnb!” – Jennifer Stojkovic, sf.citi Executive Director
Our panelist from Square, Antonio Silva, cited a study revealing that 72% of small businesses face more challenges to growth today than in the past. However, 65% of those surveyed reported feeling more able to handle those challenges…in large part thanks to the tools made available to them through tech.
Matt Middlebrook of Airbnb explained how one of the company’s newest features, Airbnb Experiences, offers small business owners a new and interesting point of entry to potential customers. He explained, “It’s a way for a local to share a passion of theirs. And they make a bunch of money doing it!”
Finally, did you know that Postmates can deliver more than just food? Among Postmates’ other achievements, the company’s 2018 Economic Impact Report found that Postmates has enabled its partner merchants to grow 3.7x faster than their competitors. Elaborating on how Postmates allows brick and mortar retail to modernize and compete in the 21st century, Vikrum Aiyer said, “Instead of building that warehouse, why not treat the entire city as the warehouse.”
THE FUTURE IS RIGHT IN OUR BACKYARD
sf.citi is calling on our members to continue the tradition of cultivating the next generation of tech talent right here in San Francisco by participating in Future Grads. Future Grads guarantees local high school students a seven-week, paid internship at sf.citi member companies—fully funded by sf.citi!
What better way to determine the course of your future than learn from experts in the field. That is the idea behind sf.citi’s Future Grads program, organized in partnership with the San Francisco Police Department. For the past six years, San Francisco high school students have gleaned rare insight into the heart of tech industry by interning with sf.citi member companies and partners via Future Grads.
Employees and students alike at participating companies and organizations—including AdRoll, Techtonica, Meals on Wheels, and Meadow—have had nothing but rave reviews for Future Grads. Catherine Waite of Coinbase described Future Grads as a great way for employees to “connect with and mentor a high school student and connect with the community.” Meanwhile, several of our former interns have credited Future Grads with giving them greater clarity about their career path, while others reported a deeper appreciation for the collaborative environment of the tech world.
Sign up for Future Grads today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOLVING SAN FRANCISCO’S HOUSING CRISIS WITH SUPERVISOR SAFAÍ
sf.citi traveled to Lyft last week to meet with District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safaí. Greeted by representatives from sf.citi member companies Airbnb, Alaska Airlines, Facebook, and several others, Supervisor Safaí wasted no time in setting the agenda for the day’s discussion: Proposition D.
One of the local ballot measures on which San Francisco residents will vote on June 5, Proposition D would impose a 1.7% additional gross receipts tax on revenues received from commercial property leases to fund a number of middle- and affordable-housing projects. Supervisor Safaí explained how Prop D was born out of a “conversation with the business community and the tech community to figure out how we can get housing revenue.”
Question for Supervisor Safaí: How did we get in this housing crisis?
Safaí pointed to 2013-15 when homes in District 11, among other areas in the city, were still “reasonably priced.” Describing the sudden explosion of housing prices, Supervisor Safaí attributes today’s housing crisis to the “stark contrast” to San Francisco’s not-so-distant past—a contrast that has only become more accentuated in recent years.
More importantly, he explained how the way out of the housing crisis was to build more housing at all income levels, with Prop D being one way to get there. He said, “If successful, it will be the largest affordable housing measure in the city. Ever.”
Want to converse with more influential San Francisco policymakers and candidates in future Lunch and Learn discussions? Become an sf.citi member today!
DID YOU KNOW?
The June 5th election is less than a month away! Luckily, sf.citi has prepared a June 2018 election toolkit, complete with our Ballot Measure Endorsements and a closer look at the leading candidates in this year’s mayoral lineup – take a look here.
BUZZ | #TECHNEWS
- California Today: A Start-Up Steps Up to Help Sweep Away Old Pot Convictions – The New York Times
- Are tech CEOs finally tackling the Bay Area housing crisis? Stripe jumps into the fight– San Francisco Business Times
- The Formula Behind San Francisco’s Startup Success – Crunchbase